Public Health Department (PHD)

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Thomas Fire Press Releases and Related Information

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Air Quality Watch Cancelled for Santa Barbara County
Today, the Santa Barbara County Public Health Department and the Santa Barbara County Air Pollution Control District cancelled the Air Quality Watch that was in effect due to impacts from the Thomas Fire. [ Press Release ] [ Español ]


Property Owners who had Structures (Homes and Other Buildings) Damaged or Destroyed in the Thomas Fire
When fire burned buildings or structures on your property, they may have burned hazardous or toxic materials. Our Environmental Health Hazardous Waste Specialists will work with you to identify these materials. [ Press Release ] [ Español ]


Swimming Pools Impacted by Smoke and Ash- The following guidelines are recommended for the maintenance of pools impacted by smoke and ash contamination or fire damage. [ Guidelines ]


Home Clean Up After Fire
If a home was impacted by the smoke and ash from the Thomas fire, here are some tips for safe cleanup of smoke, heat and ash. [ Press Release ] [ Español ]


Air Quality Warning Downgraded to Air Quality Watch
Air quality has improved significantly over the past several days, although areas could still be affected by winds stirring up ash. [ Press Release ] [ Español ]


County Public Health Declares Local Health Emergency
In order to protect the public’s health and facilitate safe cleanup of hazardous materials after the Thomas Fire, the Santa Barbara County Public Health Department issued a declaration of a local health emergency and Health Officer order for removal, transport, and disposal of hazardous material and debris. This declaration, signed by the Public Health Department’s Director Van Do-Reynoso and Health Officer Charity Dean was ratified by the Board of Supervisors on Thursday, December 21, 2017.[ Press Release ] [ Español ]


When Do I Need to Use My N95 Mask? (Mask distribution Dec. 18 - Jan 3)
Santa Barbara County residents should keep their N-95 masks on hand as air quality may continue to be affected by the Thomas Fire smoke or ash. Ash may continue to be blown into the air during periods of high winds during the next weeks or months. Residents should also protect themselves by using an N-95 mask while cleaning up ash.

The general public and those with health conditions affected by air quality do not need to wear an N-95 mask if the air quality index is “good”. The public and especially those with health conditions affected by smoke or ash are urged to continue to monitor air quality at www.ourair.org. [ Press Release ] [ Español ]

 

Do Not Use Leaf Blowers
The Santa Barbara County Public Health Department and Santa Barbara County Air Pollution Control District remind the community that leaf blowers should not be used while there are large amounts of ash in our environment, as this could result in a violation of Air Pollution Control District regulations and endanger health. All county residents are encouraged to be good neighbors and not use leaf blowers.


The Air Pollution Control District can take enforcement action against any person who uses a leaf blower in the aftermath of the Thomas Fire where a threat to public health in violation of state law and District regulations is determined. [ Press Release ] [ Español ]

 

Safe Clean-Up and Work Practices During and After Thomas Fire
To clean ash, wear a mask and remember the three C's, Control, Contain and Capture. [ Click here ] [ Español ]

 

Public Health Advisory: Children's Health and Smoke
The N95 masks being distributed in Santa Barbara County are designed for adults. However, these masks may fit a child if their face is comparable in size to that of a petite adult. [ Press Release ]

 

Instructions for use of N95 Mask
[Instructions for use of N 95 mask- English & Español ]

 

What Are The Air Quality Index Levels And What Do They Mean To Your Health?
With the Thomas Fire continuing to burn it is anticipated the county will have continued concerns about air quality. [ Press Release ]

 



Animals Sheltered From Thomas Fire Ready To Return Home
All animals that were temporarily sheltered and cared for in Santa Barbara County while their owners were under Thomas Fire evacuation orders and warnings, eagerly await return to their loving homes and owners. With the lifting of all evacuation orders, it is important that animals be picked up by Friday, December 22nd. [ Press Release ] [ Español ]


Evacuating During a Power Outage
The Thomas Fire has caused power outages lasting from minutes to days. Residents who need to evacuate should be aware that they may have the additional challenge of evacuating in the dark. [Press Release ] [ Español ]


Health Precautions For Pet Owners
Pet owners should limit their pet's exposure to the smoke and heed air quality warnings. [ Press Release ] [ Español ]


Health Notice to Local Landscapers
Please be aware that the County Public Health Department and the Air Pollution Control District are strongly recommending NO USE OF LEAF BLOWERS UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE. (Spanish version on page 2). [ Press Release ]


N-95 Mask Distribution- December 18 - 23, 2017
Over 350,000 N-95 masks have been distributed to communities in Santa Barbara County affected by unhealthy levels of smoke from the Thomas Fire. The N-95 masks will continue to be distributed to areas of the County experiencing air that is unhealthy or unhealthy for sensitive groups as measured by the Air Pollution Control District. [ Press Release ] [ Español ]


Air Quality Warning Continues Through Weekend
Ash may become locally airborne on Saturday in areas of stronger winds. Be prepared and keep your N95 particulate masks handy. [ Press Release ] [ Español ]


REVISED Schedule: Free N-95 Mask Distribution Sites for Friday - Sunday, December 15 - 17, 2017
See Press Release for list of locations and REVISED times highlighted in yellow [ Press Release ] [ Español ]



Free N-95 Mask Distribution Sites for Thursday, December 14, 2017
See Press Release for list of locations [ Press Release ] [ Español ]



Free N-95 Mask Distribution Sites for Wednesday, December 13, 2017
See Press Release for list of locations [ Press Release ]



Safe Clean Up of Ash
If your home was impacted by the Thomas fire, here are some health precautions to take after you return home and before you begin the clean-up process. [ Press Release ] [ Español ]



Air Quality Warning Still in Effect
Continue to take precautions [ Press Release ] [ Español ]



Free N-95 Masks Distribution for Tuesday, December 12
[ Press Release ] [ Español ]



THOMAS FIRE: Updated Free Mask Distributions for Monday, December 11, 2017 Santa Ynez Valley distribution site established
Due to continued unhealthy air conditions resulting from the Thomas Fire, free N-95 masks continue to be will be distributed as part of a coordinated effort of the Santa Barbara Medical Reserve Corps, City of Carpinteria CERT, City of Lompoc CERT, Santa Barbara County Public Health Department, CAL OES, and Direct Relief. [ Press Release ]



Air Quality Warning Remains in Effect Through Weekend
The air quality index continues to show unhealthy air quality in Santa Barbara County. Smoke and ash from the Thomas Fire may continue to affect local air quality for days. Levels of smoke and particles, and areas of the county affected, will vary and conditions could change quickly. [ Press Release ]



Response To Thomas Fire… Partnership Makes It Possible
Just as there is a Unified Command for firefighting on the front lines of the Thomas Fire, there are partnerships behind the scenes that make all of the information regarding air quality, distribution of masks for residents, announced evacuations, sheltering for people and animals, etc. flowing smoothly. [ Press Release ]



Mask Distribution Sites
Sites for distribution of N 95 masks on Thursday, December 7 [ Press Release ]  
[Instructions for use of N 95 mask- English & Español ]



Unhealthy Air Quality Continues in Santa Barbara County – Take Precautions
The air quality index shows unhealthy air quality in Santa Barbara County and air quality continues to worsen. Santa Barbara air monitoring station has recorded "hazardous" levels, the Goleta station has recorded "very unhealthy" levels and the Lompoc station has recorded "unhealthy" levels. [ Press Release ] [ Spanish ]


Unhealthy Air Quality in Santa Barbara County
Air quality warning continues until conditions improve. [ Press Release ]


Air Quality Warning
The Santa Barbara County Public Health Department and the Santa Barbara County Air Pollution Control District issued an Air Quality Warning for Santa Barbara County. Smoke and ash from the Thomas Fire burning in Ventura County is affecting local air quality, and conditions may continue over the next several days. [ Press Release ] [ Spanish ]

Public Health Department